No Pukki but no panic as star striker sits out Bees’ friendly defeat to rest ‘slight toe’ probem
PUBLISHED: 20:42 24 July 2019 | UPDATED: 20:59 24 July 2019
Teemu Pukki sat out Norwich City’s pre-season friendly defeat to Brentford after what Daniel Farke revealed was a ‘slight problem’ with his toe.
But the Canaries' head coach made it clear his star striker's absence on Wednesday afternoon was no cause for alarm, after the Finn watched on as his team mates slipped to a 3-1 loss in a behind-closed-doors practice game at Colney.
Emi Buendia scored on his return from an ankle injury but the Championship visitors replied through Emi Marcondes, Ollie Watkins and Ethan Pinnock in sweltering conditions.
"Teemu had so many games and our spotlight was not on this Brentford match," said Farke. "There will be more important games to come and we got the feeling we had to rest him a bit. Plus he was there with a pretty good performance against Schalke 04 and there was a slight problem with his toe. Nothing too special but we got the feeling we shouldn't take any risks with him in this game.
"It was an important game for Brentford. You could see that.
"They are closer to the start of the season and when you are willing to travel to the training ground of a Premier League club you know it will be tough. For me, they are one of the sides that can chase promotion."
Farke was irked by the manner of some soft goals conceded, capped by what he labelled Brentford's 'slapstick' third when Pinnock finished a Watkins' cross that travelled across the face of Tim Krul's six yard box.
"I am never happy with a loss. I want to win but sometimes though you are not disappointed at a setback," he said. "Circumstances were difficult, with the weather and the training ground doesn't feel like a proper match. No excuses, though, it was the same for Brentford. You could see it was not a game with the highest intensity or the highest speed level.
"My feeling was we showed more intensity in the second half and could have got ourselves in the lead and then on a counter we miss the ball. Then as we pushed for an equaliser we concede a slapstick goal.
"We had just made quite few substitutions a few minutes earlier and that might be a factor but the ball travelled through a lot of my players.
"It wasn't a top class delivery so it was too easy. I don't know how the ball travels that far. But in the league you don't make six changes in one go. We also had one or two clear penalties but we accept the result."